Ecuador at last

A tired tern hitchhiked across the equator with us yesterday. We anchored for the night in an open bay 15 miles north of Caraquez, allowing arrival at the Bahia pilot pickup point at high tide the next day. 


The river mouth at Bahia Caraquez is entered through a rather dodgy, shallow channel. Entry is restricted to one hour either side of high water. A pilot is strongly recommended and we were very pleased to have a local fisherman, Pedro, in the cockpit advising us. You go boldly in, straight toward the rocks, and turn left at the very last moment, with your heart in your mouth, breaking seas on the beam and in worryingly shallow water.


Inside, the bay is large and the fore and aft moorings are robust. A dozen yachts are here waiting or just sitting. 



For Maxine this is the end of our tedious but interesting little journey. She has dried out (literally and figuratively) after last night’s wine-sodden evening at the restaurant and a mis-step into the dinghy at the jetty. After a visit to Quito she flies home and, as always, will be missed.



Until Rosie arrives in 10 days I have the usual list of jobs to work through – indeed rather more than usual: sorting out how to repair those mainsail battens, fixing the Honda generator, solving the failure of the engine kill button, repairing leaks in the dinghy’s inflatable skirt, patching the tear in the genoa… the list goes on.

I briefly courted the idea of having Rosie  bring me a replacement mainsail batten from Sydney, but I think LAN airways would draw the line at her bringing a 15′ long stick of fibreglass as accompanied baggage. I will try and pop rivet segments of batten over each of the breaks. If that fails I will use the lowest batten to replace the broken ones and sail with the first reef tucked into the main. 

But this is a pleasant place to do it all. Our host at Puerto Amisted, Tripp Martin, is a genial and helpful Alabaman, whose open air watefront cafe, like his gorgeous wife, is a delight.

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